By Judy F. Partlow
An adult Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate), one of the endangered sea turtle species in the world, died Sunday of still unknown cause at its captive breeding site in Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental.
Environmentalists Steve de Neef said he was informed about this Sunday. Christina Pajang of the Large Marine Vertebrates Project in the Philippines, under the nongovernment organization Physalus, said the turtle has been on medication since Wednesday.
She said she went to the Oceanarium in Zamboanguita to administer the first dose of antibiotics and she taught the facility caretaker the daily dosage for an eight-day regimen. The turtle was also given injectable fluids, or saline chloride, and antibiotics.
On Thursday, Pajang said the caretaker told her the turtle exhibited signs of recovery, but on Sunday, it was found dead.
Pajang yesterday said Community Environment and Natural Resources Office II chief, Mario Aragon, promised to send personnel over to the Oceanarium to supervise the disposal of the reptile.
She said she believes that, as a permit holder for the captive breeding of the turtles, the Oceanarium’s staff should have the technical expertise to care for the reptiles, feed them and ensure their health and welfare.
Aragon could not be reached for comment and it was not known if the Hawksbill had already been disposed of.